Page Nav


hide author name


Classic Header


Top Ad

Headline News:


Shehu Sani detention situation

Shehu Sani Shehu Sani’s antecedents make it difficult to believe the allegations that the vocal ex-senator, who represented Kaduna Cent...

Shehu Sani

Shehu Sani’s antecedents make it difficult to believe the allegations that the vocal ex-senator, who represented Kaduna Central in the last Senate, is a name-dropper and bribe-giver.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said: “Sani is currently facing criminal investigation, and he is being detained by the EFCC in very conducive environment, based on a valid court order…Sani has questions to answer as regards the alleged involvement in name-dropping, and particularly that he obtained $25,000 from Alhaji Sani Dauda, the ASD Motors boss, in order to help shield him from investigations being carried out by the EFCC.”

But Sani’s aide, Suleiman Ahmed, said the EFFC’s claim about Sani’s detention environment was far from the truth, and that the said detention environment was far from being “very conducive.”  Ahmed was quoted as saying on a radio show that Sani was detained “for more than 10 days in an underground cell, which, whenever he will be given food, we have to call some people from the top before he could be given food.”

Ahmed repeated these allegations in a newspaper interview. The repeated allegations showed Ahmed was serious and wanted the allegations to be taken seriously. He said: “Initially, there was a lot of intimidation because in the first five days of his arrest, whenever food was taken to him, we would be made to wait for several hours till somebody at the top gives the order for clearance. Due to this, he doesn’t eat on time. Sometimes, he gets his breakfast at 11am or 12 while he gets his lunch at 4pm. That is why his family resolved to give him food twice a day. So, does this have to do with extortion?”

Are Ahmed’s allegations true? It’s a cause for concern that Sani was said to have been subjected to harsh detention conditions by the EFCC. The EFCC has a lot of explaining to do, beyond just saying that Sani is being detained in a “very conducive environment.” Sani is being investigated for alleged extortion, but that’s no reason he should be treated in the manner described by Ahmed. Indeed, it’s scandalous that an EFCC detainee was said to have been subjected to the detention conditions described by Ahmed.

The EFCC shouldn’t have detention centres where detainees are kept in inhumane conditions, no matter why such detainees are in detention.  The 14-day detention order to investigate, which the commission obtained on January 2, wasn’t meant to expose the detainee to cruel conditions.    Ahmed’s picture of Sani’s detention conditions is bad for the EFCC’s image, and suggests there’s more to his detention than meets the eye.

Significantly, Sani had said in a statement: ”If the consortium of the government, EFCC and my accuser has any evidence in form of audio, video, cheque, draft or money transfer for their spurious, fabricated bribe, they should make it public by publishing it instead of issuing statements.

“I strongly, boldly, unambiguously, and explicitly maintain, assert, affirm that the allegations against me are … lies.”

During his Senate years from 2015 to 2019, Sani had hit the headlines with his disclosure that every senator got N13.5m for running costs monthly, in addition to their salaries. Before his revelation, the public was clueless about how much the country’s senators got for their work.

Sani had said: “But because of this culture of secrecy and silence, people who found themselves in the National Assembly are criminalised and stigmatised. The dome of the National Assembly is being seen to house people of questionable character and integrity. So, what I did was to rescue the honour and credibility of the parliament by removing the veil of secrecy to bring it once and for all to an end.”

He got it right by exposing things. But he got it wrong by thinking that it would help to show the senators in a good light.  Revealing what the senators got, which had been kept secret for so long, showed the Senate’s dirty underbelly.

According to Sani,   “Everybody collects this money, but the rule is that when you collect, you keep quiet…I will continue to collect as others are collecting too, until there is a law or there is an adjustment to say we should collect half of what we now collect.

“I will continue to collect because I am not collecting it for myself. I am collecting it for my people…The good thing is that the Senate has been courteous to me because as soon as I said it, the spokesperson of the Senate confirmed it… And for now, there has been no sanction. I don’t know whether tomorrow or next there will be. I tried to make my colleagues to understand, though many don’t want to…”

He added:  ”To even open up is a monumental step… For me, I believe I have done my own best… The next step is for pressure to come from Nigerians.”

Sani is well known for being outspoken. Indeed, it is believed he is in trouble because of his blunt comments on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration last December.  He was quoted as saying on Invicta FM Radio’s Hausa programme , Kai kadai gayya: “ If you give this present government 50 more years to rule, this is how the masses will suffer for those 50 years…This government doesn’t have any other song except blaming the past government. The issue should be: what have you done since assumption of office?”

Sani also said: “This hardship that Nigerians are even experiencing is a joke compared to what would be happening in this coming year and beyond, because the measures the government is taking are not measures to bring succour to the masses, but to increase power for the powerful and increase hardship for the masses.”

Is Sani a name-dropper and bribe-giver as the EFCC alleged?  Are the allegations “politically motivated” as he alleged?

By Femi Macaulay

No comments